Look what we sneaked online while you were sleeping……..part 1…..
Revolutions of a 45 and 33 kind……
An end of year spring clean if you cobbling together all the reviews committed to post these last 12 months or more, there’ll be a dozen or so of these so keep your hat on, no boring end of lists, what’s the point just read the words the clues are pretty much there….normal service resumes Sunday-ish……
This is heading fast towards near sound worlds and damn fine with it to, sampler track from a forthcoming Maps and Diagrams set entitled ‘voodoo tales’ through his own handstitched imprint which I must admit appears to be something of a thriving cottage industry of late given the fact that in recent times Tim Diagram has been sneaking out releases like there’s no tomorrow. Anyhow ‘voodoo tales’ is shortly to make, one assumes, a very brief appearance into daylight any day soon arriving in a strictly limited 50 only pressing from which by way of a notice server ‘taboo’ has been coaxed out of the shadows to court your affection. With its watery flotillas, ice sculptured sereneness and curiously attractive binary afro-beat, ‘taboo’ is attached with a lulling tropicalia calm that seesaws and swims seductively guiding the listener into a truly immersive head trip softly smothered in a rich tableau of lush dream-scaping fauna to venture and free wheel the vast boundless voids of sounds inner space to craft something both hypnotic, mesmeric and revealed as though a timeless whisper from an ancient age. https://soundcloud.com/handstitched/maps-and-diagrams-taboo
ignore everything we said above, ‘Taboo’ is forthcoming though not on ‘voodoo tales’ – instead this is – a brief sampler therein and something which finds Tim Diagram going through the whole gamut of sound species one minute lilting would be listeners to the monophonic murmurs of dream draped cosmic wisps, the next channelling the woozy orbitals of 70’s library kosmiche and the kooky manipulated manifestations of Cornelius and Casino versus Japan leaving plenty of time for some playful oceanic seafaring and a degree of industrialised mechanoid trip hop hula……as previously advertised ‘voodoo tales’ emerges as a strictly limited 50 only outing via the patiently whittled and considered handstitched imprint. https://soundcloud.com/handstitched/maps-and-diagrams-voodoo-tales-smpler?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=facebook
and staying very loosely with maps and diagrams, okay fort dax and cheju would perhaps be considered distant sonic cousins, but we happened upon this following sighting a distress call posting on facebook. Via bad panda records – who at one time did frequent these very pages, this is last step who if I’ve followed the bread crumb clues in their correct order have something to do with venetian snares, this particular cutie – ‘horse lasagne woman’ – is taken from a set released earlier in the year entitled ‘lost sleep’. Superbly teetering on the darker side of the acid spectrum, ‘horse lasagne woman’ is sumptuously harnessed upon a noir chipped cold wave minimalist vibe that skirts and prowls the shadowy divides existing between a mid career Plaid and ‘a beverley mythic’ era fortdax – nuff said. https://venetiansnares.bandcamp.com/album/lost-sleep
and talking of fortdax, long been off our radar I’m disappointed to say, but we did hook up a sound cloud page only discover much to our joy a whole host of groove that Mr Durham has been recording under his own name along with some well heeled rare cuts from fortdax with a fair few treats here I’m embarrassed to say previously unknown to us. One such which should chime with old school admirers and have certain patrons and disciples nodding with affectionate approval especially those still tearfully touched by the near divine perfection of ‘at bracken’ is ‘with the wind in our sails’ which appears from the liner notes / credits to have been written four years ago and which was composed with a view to back dropping a filmic vehicle of some sort, in short two minutes of near pirouetting perfection which once freed of its Goblin-esque glints unfurls with demurring drama to cause little heart rushes as it romantically sweeps and arcs amid a swooning magicalia that thaws from the affectionate turn of clock working motifs to embrace a full on emotionally peppering wide screen majesty lush in brontean flurries and genuflecting pastoral posies. Breathless. https://soundcloud.com/darren-durham
with its shimmer toned twinkles and its calming crystalline coos, ‘afloat’ makes for something of a serenely lazy eyed symphonia. Prized from a forthcoming set entitled ‘window gazer’ through hellbig music, it’s by holographic field, or as he’s better known to friend s and family Berlin based musician Jonas Meyer. Crushed in measured elegance, ‘afloat’ navigates the quiet cracks existing between the sonic building blocks that deftly separate ambience and electronica, classically enriched and lushly ghosted in ethereal echoes, a celestial call and response peppered delicately by hushed harmonics and a dozing armoury of crystal tipped murmurs through whose dreaming eyes are reflected rarefied images of extraterrestrial floral landscapes coded and coloured in pastoral prettiness. In short adorable. https://soundcloud.com/holographicfield/afloat
caught adrift upon a brooding east wind an ominous foretelling casts its shadowy fascination over the barren arid dry desert plains, above lies the scorching glare of molten suns over which beneath a deathly wasteland populated by smoked husks that once passed for vegetation and vulture picked carcasses gather to usher and utter a warning of hopelessness for all who seek passage. Piloting the aforementioned bleached breeze, Dead Sea Apes scowl, skirt, snake wind and scar the over laboured landscapes much like an ever watchful and needy preacher man seeking souls to burn, ‘the unclosing eye’ is their withering anthem – mesmeric, hollowed and entrancing, a dread draped dusky mantra cloaked in mysticism and born of an archaic tongue rooted deep in the humankind mindset, searing burning hot its spell craft intense, intent and inescapable opines with suffocating seduction like a bruised wound licking and hulking Grails epitaph. An album is imminent entitled ‘spectral domain’ via Cardinal Fuzz and Sunrise Ocean Bender.
now wasn’t that nice……more soon…..
back now with more Cardinal Fuzz loveliness, this lot – Minami Deutsch hail from Japan and are described by a brief press blurb as being found worshipping at the altar of krautrock, now ordinarily we’d be agreeing sagely nodding likewise as we pondered a while and stroked our cosmic chin hair while musically medicating on the vibes, and yes there is an identifiable motorik lock grooviness at work here and a kind of wooziness specially formulated for flipping wigs and coaxing out to astral play your mystical eye but now having fallen beneath the hypno grooving of shit faced teaser track ‘futsu ni ikirenai’ we’re inclined to hazard a guess that these beatnik cosmic trippers are instead mainlining heavily on several parts Suicide and a healthy side serving of Silver Apples – out there and wasted doesn’t really cut it. Self titled debut full length – on white vinyl no less – due to impact in the time of the Liverpool psychedelic festivities. https://soundcloud.com/dave-cambridge/futsu-ni-ikirenai
channeling both Nico and Dead Can Dance, ‘earth’ comes culled from laughing eye weeping eye – the latest signatures to the much admired moon glyph stable. As ever with these releases, ‘once was you’ comes strictly limited on a handsomely crafted cassette and finds duo Ms Schoenecker and Mr Holbrook linking sonic hands with hare and the moon and preterite to craft something elegiac and lost in time, a slice of mercurial mastery sitting outside the safe comfort and confines of box ticking generic tags and something draped in the fineries of lost musical tongues and folklore ritualism that’s pressed and ghosted upon by the entrancing visitation of twilight incantations and the lulling intonation of an opining harmonium whereupon an almost spiritual church like reverence attaches. beguiling in short. Full album review arriving soon. https://soundcloud.com/moonglyph/laughing-eye-weeping-eye-earth
proving to be something of a hive of activity afoot at silber media with releases aplenty peppering our in box – all of which I hasten to add will feature here in the coming days – along with the promise of more to come as we head into chillier climes of the Autumn season. But it’s to Yellow6 that we turn our affectionate eye and ear with news of a new album due to emerge shortly entitled ‘no memories, only photographs’ here previewed by a brace of teaser videos the first of which a kind of welcome back to the fold homage to flying saucer attack who unless you’ve been asleep or still crying over the news of one direction going north, south, west and east in a crude attempt to monopolise an already vacuous pop chart, have just emerged from a lengthy hibernation with a new album. ‘return of the saucers’ is old school Yellow6, slow drip entrancement, both measured and elegant all bathed in crystalline kisses and the genteel emotional burn of bitter sweet reflection not to mention touched by the noir purred sleight of hand of Budd and/Mancini, the mood as ever undercut by a veiled and hollowed romance.
By contrast ‘seal beach’ is adorned by a dreamy texture that softly radiates and shimmers to a more recognisable romantic incline, the mood mellower and distanced by a tranquil calm is delicately dappled and subtly dipped in the expressive colouring of genteel exotic sea breezes which by our reckoning are best served listening to through head cans whilst unwinding yourself of the days deeds whilst watching burning skies fading into the distance.
Now for two releases from the esteemed riot season imprint, alas no sound cloud-y links here but we are working on it and anyway the available sneak teaser for the workin man noise unit has alas thus far managed to admirably deflect our advances and refused to give up its wares – anyhow for the note takers among you the album is titled ‘play loud’ and its due fairly soon as is the debut long player from early mammal. Now this honey has been the cause of some swift head turns since the emergence of the teaser track ‘morning’ onto our sound player, from the album ‘take a lover’ this woozily smoked out babe comes dizzily dappled in all manner of early 70’s vibes no more so than mountain, in particular ‘nantucket sleighride’ which it agreeably on occasion lapses into albeit I couldn’t begin to tell you exactly where, add to that the fact that it sounds like said track being recoded and branded as their own by Leaf Hound with just a side order smidgeon of Crazy Horse to complete matters, frankly the blighter just smoulders in all its wasted mountain blues finery.
Must admit to being a tad fond of this un, disappears cover of Mr Bowie’s ‘breaking glass’ here sounding edgily loose, funked out and decidedly ramshackle – but in a good way you understand and to boot scalped and haloed in all manner of shimmer toning sirens not to mention capturing perfectly the whole sparse dislocated sonic vibe of the day in so far as the mashing and meshing of the cold wave paranoia, funk, alt disco and stateside new wave and faithfully done to the point that you’d swear they’d crept into the thin white duke’s headspace for a rummage around through his boxes of memories. The track incidentally is culled from a forthcoming set that finds them covering ‘Low’ in its entirety the set mastered by Sonic Boom and due for issue in November where it’ll arrive pressed up on orange wax via the much loved sonic cathedral imprint was recorded live last year in Chicago as part of a concert series Bowie Changes to coincide with a Bowie exhibition at the museum of contemporary art – an event that featured musicians gathering to pay homage by reinterpreting his back catalogue.
A little light relief interval –
Tripped across this by inadvertently opening an accidental hyperlink on the press release for the previously mentioned disappears ‘low’ news. A mock up Bowie animation for the recording of ‘warszawa’ featuring Eno and co producer Visconti – hilarious and more worryingly – probably revealing a hint of truth.
I’m suspecting someone somewhere not only has the means and wherewithal to a secret bunker but has been busy mixing DNA cultures cobbled from all your favourite femme fronted indie starlets past and present and set about genetically creating under laboratory conditions the pop supernova that is the unwieldy named have you ever seen the jane fonda aerobic VHS? a name which even reduced to the shortened hyestjfvhs? would prove a character clogging mission for any would be t-shirt merchandiser. Anyhow latest sortie from these three Finnish folk goes by the name ‘family man’ which by our ever attentive ears translates sumptuously into a nifty slice of sub four minute feel good ram-a-lama trimmed in punk pop accents all cut with the kind of effervescent cuteness that’s liable to have your turntable cooing affectionately whilst having you hitting the repeat button with frantic delight, features oodles of 60’s organs, radiant sing-a-long chorus hooks you can kiss not to mention a healthy dollop of euphoric whiplash to
boot. Now tell me again what’s not to love.
Interludes……..’the school is full of noises’
Found sounds, tape loops and weird orchestrations, just what was happening in our junior schools in the 60’s under the watchful guidance of such forward thinking tutors as John Paynter, Ian McMillan discovers this strange world where imagination, free form sounds and cutting edge musical techniques more akin to the days avant-garde scene where left to develop and express themselves with the help of Jonny Trunk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b066vyy7
Associated listening / watching…….
John painter collaboration with peter aston……
The dale warland singers performing paynter’s ‘the rose’…..
Haunting abstractia from pierre schaeffer via ‘ouija board’….
Today would have been the birthday of the much missed John Peel – we’ve fired up the search engines for a ramble through the inter web and come back with a host of goodies – the latter of which a BBC broadcast from that golden year 1977 wherein the big question on everyone’s lips wasn’t how would Liverpool FC survive without Kevin Keegan but what to do to stop and prevent the nations spotty face teen army turning overnight into street fighting zombie punks. But first up a whole mix cloud page with Peel show uploads aplenty – some great curios and forgotten moments here though for us the pride of the pick being the phantom festive 50 of ’91 replete with legendary ‘pickin the blues’ intro – just toggle down a little wee while to access – hit the volume button, fill your boots and raise a glass to the great man….
Ah punk…..there was a time when the nation where offered jabs on the NHS in order to ward off its harming effects, doors where painted with red symbols and people pointed at you in the street, this tedious though sometimes disturbing and hilarious – in a disbelieving way – documentary / phone in expose shines the light on a Britain as blinkered and easily fed on the lies, bullying and societal dividing lines printed by the likes of the Mail and the gutter trash tabloid press
Infamous for re-drawing the horror movie landscape, Hammer production studios resurrected the legendary core of 30’s horror titles – Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy and the Werewolf and bequeathed unto them new life and in particular with regards to Dracula – a sexual / sensual rebranding, by the late 50’s and early 60’s the company had become a leading brand in the horror cinema market simultaneously making household names of its two leading players – Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Matthew Sweet’s continually excellent ‘sound of cinema’ casts an affectionate ear to the symphonic soundtracks that graced the Hammer legacy. Here you’ll find yourself mesmerised by the ethereal shimmering gothika of Hammer’s in house composer James Bernard’s ‘Dracula’ score from 1958, his frankly stately treatment for ‘She’, the edge of the seat terror technique of ‘the curse of Frankenstein’ and his legendary backdrop for ‘Dracula has risen from the grave’ – yep the bit were the fanged one returns from the beyond to wreak all manner of sucking savagery. Elsewhere there’s the divinely lilting floral pageantry that graces the mid section of the very Hitchcockian sounding ‘curse of the werewolf’ composed by Benjamin Frankel whilst billed as a space western, fans of Julie Driscoll might want to check out the Don Ellis penned theme from ‘moon zero two’ whilst dare we neglect to mention the primordial sparse minimalism of Tristram Cary’s tense shredding classic ‘quatermass and the pit’. Alas no ‘Dracula AD 1972’ with its snazzy hippy chic score from Mike Vickers – in our much humbled opinion one of the best ever to adorn a Hammer feature. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b067x53g
Several recent communications from the electric phantom sound bunker alerting us to two well heeled slices of ear gear, the first being from the much admired Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin who continues apace to baffle, bewilder and bedevil our sound system with her surreal disturbia with ‘Rose (flower’s garden)’ perhaps providing her darkest dalliance to date. A cornucopia of chilling creep fest crookedness trimmed in child like abstractia all ghosted by fateful treachery and terrorising tales of weirdness which when gathered together are lysergically dead headed by a stricken and sinister shadowy solemnity.
Ms MacPumpkin’s next trip down the psychedelic rabbit hole comes courtesy of a video puppet / animation set to adorn the track ‘veggie medley’ from her critically acclaimed ‘fish drive edsels’ full length…..then work begins on her second album, consider yourselves well and truly warned.
Second from the electric phantom corporation and due soon on soft bodies a new thang from the ridiculously critically overlooked and underappreciated cleaners of venus. ‘Denmark Street’ is your classically fried slice of English psych eccentricity which finds Mr Newell sublimely chiming the same kind of hallowed Barrett-esque trip-a-delic tapestry as the likes of Orridge, Hitchcock, Roland and Nicely with this woozy wonder wandering into sound space shimmered and dreamily draped in all manner of ghostly Victoriana fairground mirages and hallucinogenic halos.
Incidentally the video was a collaborative affair between the electric phantom and soft bodies guys – cleaners of venus’ new album due end of September is entitled ‘rose of lanes’
In our absence there’s been a pile of releases / pods and various other gubbins that we are frantically trying to find time to hear and feature, not least several Active Listener samplers that are need of checking out at your earliest convenience. The latest, just in, #35, will be getting a closer earful later in the week though for now three tracks that caught our lobes ought to whet the appetite and have your listening charms positively frothing for more. From a n album due imminently on Cineploit who I should point out, we’ve featured previously hear, Sospetto’s quite deliriously demurred ‘essouflement’ initially skips daintily as though a florally flighty 60’s hippy chic flower child hooked on an amorphous cocktail of Monade and Free Design posies before undergoing some mystical mind expansion and going all woozily arabesque replete with some neat Love-esque nods. Providing similar ear gear nods aplenty Machine est mon Couer serve up the sumptuously shadowy lined ‘trainwreck’, this ghostly spectacle comes traced with a superbly haunting yet fractured romance rendered Portishead craft all slyly set in entrancing noir tonalities. Edging it among the trio though in terms of affection, Matchess’ ‘mortification of the flesh’ is frankly – wow – easily described as imagining some cosmic tryst embarked upon by the starry union of a somewhat slo-mo and smitten Cerrone with a ‘moon safari’ era Air – in short kosmiche that’s set to stun. http://theactivelistener.bandcamp.com/album/the-active-listener-sampler-35
Another label to add to that ever growing essential and favourite imprint list that we have stashed about ourselves, this time Manchester’s Box Bedroom Rebels who’ve apparently sneaked some twenty releases beneath our radar to date much to our sighing and disbelieving gnashing of teeth. Well we say 20 releases because latest lovely, from Russian duo Eerie Summer, proudly boasts the catalogue number #BBR21. Entitled ‘yr too cool’ this honey comes from a set described fondly by the label as ‘7 slices of no fi bittersweet pop’ – frankly how could we resist, two minutes of shy eyed ache nibbling seductively beneath your defences all kissed with the kind lilting lo-fi loveliness that once upon a time was the bread and butter of such legendary boutiques as (to name just three) Sarah, Bus Stop and Summershine – utterly adorable.
A few things heading out of the lathe cutting labs of 3.45rpm…..first up….
Many thanks to Geoff at Static Caravan for hot footing a few turntable treats the first of which an imminent limited to 100 clear lathe pressing gathering together two new cuts from modified toy orchestra or MTO as they appear to prefer being called these days. An album looming – their third – entitled ‘silfurburg’ this brace of cuts feature on a digital EP ‘Feynman on Mars’ and reveal a curious light / dark dimension to their sonic persona with lead out cut ‘mary =x’ proving something of a would be melodically murmured mathematicians mirage that finds MTO orbiting distant dark stars transmitting waltzing lovelorn lunar lullabies out into the starry wilderness all flavoured in oriental twinkles and ice draped in a numbing vapour kissed ethereal majesty. With its title taken from a news broadcast reporting on the doomed Challenger mission of 86, there’s a sense of ghostly detached emptiness that courses throughout the brief visitation of ‘the breath they’ve holding’ that’s traced with a deathly solemn hollowness as the oblique binary bleeps shuffle and shift in despairing sorrow from which a muted bittersweet beauty blossoms.
Again pressed on limited lathe editions – 60 as reported and all gone on pre-sale alone – as well as well as being available on all digital resources, the welcomed returned to these pages of the Earlies. A trio of treats feature on ‘message from home’ all giving ample evidence that the collectives mastery and creative flair hasn’t neglected them in the intervening years following their decade long exile with the parting title cut alone finding them retracing their sonic origins back to the days of those teeth cutting debuting brace of self released EP’s to provide a beautifully lilting and dream dazed murmuring cosmic shanty of sorts delicately teased and surrendered in oceanic opines. Lead out track ‘abandon’ arrives graced in a youthful Broadcast braiding sumptuously traced in a tenderly alluring bitter sweet noir framing that imagines cosmic campfire séances emitting distress calls from long forgotten lunar outposts while the simply humbling ‘disappearing man’ just aches with the convergence of desperation, hope and wonder coming cradled as it does in a curious wintry warmth not to mention being bathed in the kind of heavenly hushed glow the type of which used to once upon a time grace the grooves of releases bearing the name Seeland upon their hide. Adored in short. https://theearlies.bandcamp.com/album/message-from-home
Future static caravan happenings will variously see outings for victories at sea – an album no less, another lathe release featuring TVAM and an as yet unconfirmed format wise collaboration between Justin Wiggan and Noah Howard. More info via http://www.staticcaravan.org – also check out the record shop – yep a real record shop but do they actually get around to selling records as it seems the staff look like they are having way to much fun http://staticrecordswigan.co.uk/
Only ten of these babes available and I’m guessing by the time you read this all flown from the coup – though worry not as there are plans afoot for an equally limited re-press. Pressed up on 8 inch slabs of polycarbonate or whatever hell they use on these lathe lovelies this is sloath who I’m suspecting have featured in passing at some point or other in the distant dark past. ‘high commissioner is your heavy duty sunlight sucking slavering stoner doom groove, kind of Deep Purple played at 16rpm that comes kissed with the kind of resigned to it all grizzled futility as to make the likes of Earth sound positively poppy and happy go lucky party pop music by sharp comparison. ‘beard of ra’ over on the flip – incidentally the best thing here is gouged by a killer mesmeric locked grooved rifffola that if we didn’t know any better would have had us believing tales of it being carved and forged in the ancestral fires of earth’s formation. Bad boogie-fied ju-ju indeed. http://endless-records.bandcamp.com/album/high-commissioner-beard-of-ra
Staying with 3.34rpm, another release that’s gone to the land of fevered auction site activity is an ultra limited mini album gathering together selected recordings of an acoustic performance made by Sendelica at their recent appearance at the critically acclaimed fruits de mer ‘sardonicus’ festival, a kind of official unofficial bootleg taped by an audience member and limited to just 50 copies all pressed up on prized slabs of 10 inch vinyl among the cuts caught a quite attractively lazy eyed version of Mr Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ here given a coolly bliss kissed woozy folk flashing all sweetly seduced by some seriously smoked saxophonics that’s frankly worthy of the entrance price on its own. http://sendelica.bandcamp.com/album/sendelica-acoustica-live-at-13th-dream-of-dr-sardonicus-authorised-bootleg-mini-album
and just to round up the 3.45rpm festivities for now here’s a quite nifty little video and chatty thing about the complexities and wonders of the secret world surrounding the art of the lathe cutting process in the company of Richard Houghten….
I’m suspecting all these have flown the coup in which case we are currently sat here doing gnashing teeth impressions – and it’s not a pretty sight I can tell you. New-ish deep distance happenings afoot, this is one half of a groove sharing 10 inch platter that pairs together the cult of free love and the wrestler the former of whom trip in with the uber woozy head expanding ‘love is all there is’ – a kind of magic mushroom mirage of Tibetan trance toned Beatles-esque mosaics rethreaded through some wig flipping dream machine operated by a gathering of Sonic Boom / Sunray types, freaky, fried and frankly far out. https://soundcloud.com/thecultoffreelove/the-cult-of-free-love-love-is-all-there-is
Imminent through fuzz club, a new album from the underground youth entitled ‘haunted’ from which ‘self inflicted’ has been leaked upon the sound world by way of a teaser, a brooding behemoth chill tipped in a shadow lined edginess that once emerged of its initial dark hearted harnessing looms with a hollowing majesty that bruisingly hones superbly with predatory intent into sonic universes more commonly associated with a withdrawing wound licking Church or Paul Roland. https://soundcloud.com/fuzz-club-records/the-underground-youth-self-inflicted-1
Well I didn’t see this coming that’s for sure, an alternative James Bond theme that’s not only fine to like but actually captures the mystery, the majesty and the magic of classic Bond flicks from yore not to mention actually getting the grainy noir detachment of the character’s spirit. So what that Sam Smith nailed the honours, Bond these days is a money printing exercise far removed from Fleming’s complex and flawed original model, a loyal loose cannon playing to his own rules without boundaries, beholding or equal – its everything embodied in ‘spectre’ – a forthcoming single through sonic cathedral by Spectres featuring guest vocals by Ela Orleans. Chamber noir riddled so explicitly in tension and psychosis that you fear it reaching out from the grooves to choke you, within there’s the maddening clock working hysteria and the almost macabre murder circus fairground graveness pulling you deeper and deeper down into its suffocating bad tripping 60’s shimmering dark lair haloing, add to the mix the vaguely cursory eye in the direction of a youthful unpolished noir trimmed John Barry and the mind altering madness of Bernard Herrmann’s ‘Vertigo’. The release is commercially available late October as a specially pressed gold wax 007 inch. Alas no sound links just yet.
Many apologies to presents for sally who sent along their latest platter ‘wishawaytoday’ – available via the much adored saint marie imprint – which in our somewhat exiled period we managed to mislay too much teeth gnashing frustration the matter only being made worse for the small fact they’ve an album imminent / out now / gone already entitled ‘colours and changes’ which we are frantically trying to source links for. Well that’s for another day, still can’t find the errant 7 inch though, however we have managed to seek out sound cloud links for the aforementioned lead cut – and a beauty it is to, an acutely cute slice of dream drifting love pop demurred and dinked in haloes of hazily glazed vapour purrs and the softening shimmer toning of bliss kissed murmurs effervescently dimpled upon sky falling feel good sun bathed breezes which had we not known any better we’d have hazarded a guess was the studio grooving of a gathering of chill pilled Ride types cosying up to the hollow men. Distractively dreamy stuff. https://soundcloud.com/saintmarie-records/presents-for-sally-1?in=saintmarie-records/sets/presents-for-sally
fancy a little something disquieting, let us then introduce you to Drudenhaus of whom we have no information beyond the fact that they make for a chilling sound spectacle courtesy of a contributing track to a collection of dark ambience mosaics gathered together by the Venus Aeon imprint called ‘subterranean passages – volume 2’. ‘night at denvers’ is the drudenhaus track in question, a pure peek-a-boo chill fest no doubt immersed and informed by all manner of horror flick fantasia and dead headed by the kind alone and you know it macabre that might have you guarded to partake of this occult overture from a comfort zone located behind the sofa with the lights on in broad daylight as it drags you hell bound through a torturous montage of ghostly nursery rhymes, bloodletting screams and what appears to be none to friendly communications from beyond the veil. A further listening exhumation is planned soon. http://venusaeon.bandcamp.com/album/subterranean-passages-vol-2
listening interlude – sculptress of sound
Matthew Sweet hosted celebration of Delia Derbyshire aired a little while back on BBC Radio 4
Advance heads up for the debut full length from Italian trio Aucan. Due to emerge November time ’disto’ provides an early call sneak peak of that aforementioned set incidentally coming through Kowloon records and titled ‘Stelle Fisse’. A beautifully bright eyed slice of twinkling lunar pop seductively traced in trippy glacial choruses and a minimalist armoury of orbiting carnival mosaics as though some starry eyed sonic tryst had been engaged upon by a slo-mo chill tipped Battles and Kreidler, quite alluring if you ask me. https://soundcloud.com/aucan/aucan-disto-3-96khz-mg/s-lD8JI
Peeled this from an alrealon musique facebook posting, a track from a recently released set entitled ‘direction of soul’ by duo Hynodrones, ‘lemon museum desk clerk’ is a delightfully spectral slice of chill tipped chamber noir that appears to mooch around the sonic desk boards of the Radiophonic Workshop principally as though the after-hours secret project of Derbyshire and Hodgson, kind of all spooky, ghostly idents, odd yet curiously playful in a ‘dance of the sugar plum fairy’ way with the principle characters somewhat replaced by doppelgangers under the influence of the Mysterons. http://hypnodrones.bandcamp.com/track/lemon-museum-desk-clerk
Expect Justin Wiggan related goodies galore in the coming weeks we’ve just been given a heads up of new things to engage our ear lobes. For now though we unearthed this curious little nugget from his roadside picnic page. Out now on the seagrave imprint a limited cassette outing entitled ‘Faux Mater’ – alas sold out but still available for a digital grab – which features two extended suites with the one we’ve decided to earmark for your listening perusal – ‘anchor store principles’ – revealing a somewhat playful and poppy side to his persona. A dreamy back to past nostalgic trip to America’s commercial 50’s era golden age where the gloom of Europe’s post war austerity sharply contrasted with the stateside consumer is king retail boom. With its ethereal toning, binary pulsars, modular murmurs, glacial dream drapes and hypno grooved shimmers this vintage training commercial / public service broadcast is imagined through the eyes / ears of a celestial observer – trippy, disconnected, and somewhat oddly wonky whilst very much retreading old school Radiophonics albeit through the mindset of a youthful Casino Vs Japan with selected members of the Tigerbeat6 family in tow. http://seagrave.bandcamp.com/album/faux-mater
eyed a little note on the reverb worship site giving advance warning of an imminent release by the heartwood institute and well, being the nosy blighters or rather more the curious souls we are, we decided to go on a ramble and unearthed this quaint treasure trove. The heartwood institute for the uninitiated – like me – is the aural alter ego of one Jonathan Sharp who from his secret sonic bunker crafts out lush sometimes haunting often beautiful sonic sketching oozed in vintage floral fantasia. ‘Astercote’ his most recent release is an imagined score to accompany a Penelope Lively penned novel of the same name published in 1970. A deeply engaging soundtrack delicately oozed in alluring floral folk flurries and the undulating romp of rustic revelries which under closer inspection reveal a sinister shadow land, for amid the innocence and carefree un-tethered tranquillity a sinister sub text plays out riddled it ritual, mystery and macabre for which while the pastoral posies such as ‘the old ways’ and ‘goacher’ allude to a sonically crafted kinship with fortdax it side steps at various turns into twilight worlds more commonly associated with the likes of the Advisory Circle, the unseen and the holy see as found on the brooding minimalist chiller ‘stolen’ and the detached futurism of ‘the chase’ where reference markers such as Zombi and John Carpenter are called to mind while somewhere else classic brit horror folk admirers (see ‘the blood on satan’s claw’) may warm to the teasingly brief ‘call down the hawk’. https://theheartwoodinstitute.bandcamp.com/
liable to leave you bruised and a tad jaw agape, incoming from Irish trio Slow Riot via straight lines are fine is a new EP entitled ‘Cathedral’ from which ‘demons’ has been posted in order to spar with your affections. A hulking and brooding bleak beauty that in another parallel time zone could easily have been a dream ticket studio face off gathering together the workhouse, wild swans and inch blue, all at once intense and immense all the time applying pressure on your emotional fault lines this hollowing slab of crippled introspection glowers with a resigned and inconsolable moodiness that’s framed upon a slow sonorous burn that builds to an exacting scar inflicting crescendo at its close. Devastating. https://soundcloud.com/slowriot-theband/demons-1
in our absence it seems that the polytechnic youth imprint have been sneaking out releases like there was no tomorrow – or copies left for that matters because these babies –as ridiculously limited as they are – have a knack of selling out before the pre sales wrapping has even been broken. Recent treats have been aplenty with releases for both eschii and xyzips,the former mentioned stumping up the sparsely traced night light show that is ‘akazie ‘98’ – a kind of thawing – slow to rise to greet the morning – ice sculptured twilight sonata delicately detailed in all manner of intricately layered micro sound engineering which ought to appeal on first encounters to those of you much adoring of the early work of Cheju and the current canon of Maps and Diagrams. As to xyzips – happily they’ve graced these pages once before, described in passing as paranoid electronics, we must admit to being a tad smitten by their cold war austere aural landscapes which aside very much swimming into the kind of retro electro territories of the quiet of late – well at least around our gaff – weird records – does instil a feeling upon the would be listener of some back to the future’s past sense of déjà vu finding an highly experimental envelope pushing Cabaret Voltaire earning cash on the side doing a spot of moonlight DJ’ing in Tron world.
staying with the Polytechnic Youth-ers a little while longer, another release worthy of tracking down, in fact the labels first forays into what might be seen for them as mass consumerist availability given there’s 250 of these cuties as opposed to the usual (around) 50 pressings, is an album (yes you read right – an album) by JG Wright entitled ‘sorcerer of sound’- comes accompanied by all manner of inserts and gubbins not to mention pressed on ultra clear vinyl, tasty looking judging from the photos. Anyhow those scratching heads wondering who he – it’s the chap out of Expo 70 found here traversing the outer post voids of the cosmos with selected cut ‘righteous’ providing a somewhat deathly dark and foreboding slice of isolationism along the way coiled in detached terror whilst traced in all manner of vintage sci-fi tronic radiophonic edginess chillingly traced all in bleak future visions. https://sonicmeditations.bandcamp.com/album/sorcerer-of-sound
vintage interlude – pierre henry
tripped across this while roaming sound cloud looking for suitable listening space soirees, this is out through Cacophonic (finders keepers) – a rare appearance of Pierre Henry’s lesser known score for ‘Malefices’- how this must have sounded back in 1962 to those more attuned to his manipulated tape constructs is any ones guess though I’m erring on the side of jaw dropping disbelief, fear and utter confusion for ‘la mort musique’ is a serious assault to the senses dragging you out of your comfort zone and throwing you ragged and head spinning into some primal pre-civilisation underbelly – all at once freaked and frenetic – for 5 minutes you are submerged and dragged – or so it seems – into an ever darkening ritualistic nightmare both threatening and hostile all bookended by chillingly sombre chamber motifs between which are encountered what sounds like the restless wakening of some prehistoric leviathan and the maddening dance of some would be voodoo offering. https://soundcloud.com/finderskeepersrecords/la-mort-musique-pierre-henry
in our prolonged absence it seems that those finders keepers dudes have been feverishly cobbling together podcasts a many this particular one a pre teaser for their Portmeirion soiree last weekend as part of their festival No 6 shenanigans. of course portmeirion means the Prisoner so expect references aplenty from the classic cult 60’s TV show – which just to start the complaint letter avalanche we’ll just say was only bettered at the time by the Linda Thorson era series of the Avengers. Anyway enough of the arguments because I’m right and be ready to prepare thyself for an anything can happen in the next 90 minutes show featuring much mirth, music and musings from Messrs Votel, Mitchell and Shipton as they broadcast their sonic resistance from a secret Village hidey place whilst trying to evade searching and seeking huge white balls – among the selected treats – Tender Prey, the lovely eggs, toolshed, noveller and much more along with a visit from jane weaver who drops by for a quick chat. be seeing you now. https://soundcloud.com/finderskeepersrecords/finders-keepers-radio-show-episode-six-festival-no-6-special
having tuned into the latest finders keepers podcast, it probably wouldn’t have escaped your attention the noting of Jane Weaver name checking Let’s Eat Grandma, a teen duo based in Norwich who it seems have been courting interest from all quarters and it’s not difficult to see why. A precocious talent if ‘deep six text book’ is anything to judge by, masked by an almost church like reverence / resonance that instils a sense of quiet majesty, this beautifully bitter sweet fragile sort arrives fully formed out of nowhere, reference markers are remote / obsolete as is its strangely drawing allure that all at once pushes and pulls between moments of detachment and intimacy, if sonic kinships are what is required then perhaps consider Bjork accompanied by a youthful Sigur Ros treading with a guarded uncertainty amid the more shadowy corridors of Teardrop Explodes’ ‘wilder’ – a rare moment of jaw dropping classicism which where a certain Mr Peel still with us would have been an early bet closing favourite for the years prized Festive 50 top spot.
Something else that’s been causing a fair amount of palpitations around these here parts is this little nugget from palehound. Taken from their recently released debut full length ‘dry food’ through exploding in sound, ‘molly’ clips the wings of the breeders before snap, cracking and popping between moments of scuzzing ripples of discordance and radiant shots of woozy west coast tweaked power popped shimmies a bit like an impish height ashbury if you ask me and well tasty with it. https://soundcloud.com/explodinginsoundrecords/palehound-molly
Safe to say we’re filing this under harsh-ish noise. Hyperstasis is the aural alter ego of sonic alchemist Ilia Rogatchevski who according to the liner has spent the summer sourcing various sounds and field recordings for the feeding, manipulating and mutating of courtesy of audacity editing software. One of a few completed scores is ‘Mama Cass’ which we strongly urge you to stay the pace with for once through the pulsars of static distortion and white noise skree something emerges that borders on the celestial whereupon ghostly visions of heavenly chorals bleed to blur and bathe your sound space in a dream draped tranquil glow. https://soundcloud.com/hyperstasis/mama-cass?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=facebook
Casually mentioned the lovely eggs in passing earlier and what do you know up pops news of a new limited 7 inch ‘goofin’ around (in lancashire)’. This ‘un pulled from their acclaimed ‘this is our nowhere’ set comes pressed up on ultra limited fried egg vinyl – really just don’t ask – and finds our favourite deranged duo in typically schizoid mood teasing out the kind of insanely infectious psychofied prickly power punk day-glo draped Shangri-La la scuzz fuzz bop that you’d imagine a secret Sonic Youth offshoot band within a band would do given the detail to wire out something crookedly kooky inspired by a pairing of Monkees, of montreal and Altered Images types – loveable rapscallions that they are. https://soundcloud.com/thelovelyeggs/goofin-around-in-lancashire-1
Sacrilege we thought to ourselves upon reading the press release, a reworked version of ‘For’ by its author C Duncan to masquerade as a limited release 7 inch shortly. Seriously how can you better perfection we thought and didn’t quite fear the worse but rather more peeked curiously puzzled. In truth what emerges is something lassoed from its celestial moorings and reclaimed into something more earthbound. Re-daubed as an ‘autumn rebuild’ – the newly re-envisaged ‘for’ skips daintily amid honey hush harmonies and the jaunty toot of warbling whistles along the way dreamily shedding and showering the sun lulling landscapes in purring pastoral posies the type of which folk heads admiring of tunng, the brigadier and the soft hearted scientists might do well to investigate further. https://soundcloud.com/mrduncan/for-autumn-rebuild
The common consensus by way of the videos passing patron in the street consumer test being it’s too long and a lot of energy but no soul, oh dear doesn’t bode to well. We hear though are made of sterner stuff I’m happy to say. More dream draped loved up pop from the purveyors of seductive shoegaze pinkshinyultrablast, ‘kiddy pool dreams’ due shortly through club ac30 is a star burning sonic sun flare, more muscular than previous encounters and revealing of a want for pre ‘loveless’ era My Bloody Valentine, this 6 minute plus supernova swerves and swoons to moments of blister packed sky scarring feedback friction to dissipating dreamily twinkle toned oceanic flotillas of heavenly chorals before coalescing at the fall to charge to a heart stopping crescendo building euphoria raining end groove. Does it for us.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock not wise to such matters, then being an avid record loving patron you’ll be prepping yourself for next month’s Cassette Store Day festivities – there will be a cassette special here somewhere soon – anyhow loads of releases have been catching our eye not least a limited re-release of the Peel endorsed Poster Children debut from ’89 entitled ‘power power’ – alas no sound links for now with which to regale you with save to say it’s coming through grabbing clouds who incidentally have a rather fetching 70 only cassette doing the rounds by warm deltas entitled ‘burning paisley’. A damn fine set that the label describe as being packed choc full of ‘spacey psychedelic explorations’ and who are we to argue, in fact we were most taken by ‘paisley witches’ whose saucer swirling slo-mo hyno-grooving shimmer toning had us much in mind of a sonic boom patented galactic dream machine being operated by that sonic spaceman known as the palace of swords while somewhere else ‘slow rays (part 1)’ might just have a fair few of the more attuned among you digging deep to revisit your working for a nuclear free city releases of yore. https://grabbingclouds.bandcamp.com/album/warm-deltas-burning-paisley
sticking with grabbing clouds a little while longer, latest addition to their enviable roster is an ultra limited flexi by SF psychedelists Blood Sister entitled ‘crystal teen girls’ – a wonderfully skewed and slightly wonky slice of radiant soft psych bubble grooving loveliness that slyly skirts around the classic sonic ley lines of prime era elephant 6 earworms of yesteryear most notably apples in stereo albeit rephrased through the kaleidoscopic viewfinder of the busy signals. https://grabbingclouds.bandcamp.com/album/blood-sister-crystal-teen-girls
More cassette store day happenings will see the emergence of a self released and self titled set from Brooklyn based Savants. Not quite sure whether ‘sons of science’ will be among its track listing but whatever the case the hip wiggling vintage 60’s shimmer toning nailed upon these here grooves ought to ensure this tape release is firmly rooted at the top of your wants list. Three minutes of smoking twang-a-rama cool blissfully kissed in mellowing Meek-esque hippy chic kaleidoscopic shape cutting wiggy lounge lilts – need I say more – go forth and seek out.
can’t quite recall how on earth we tripped across this, I’m suspecting it was on one of regular forays picking up strays along the bandcamp path. No information about fusiller except to say they / he / she are located somewhere Paris way and currently have a cassette doing the rounds through phase records which we strongly urge you to seek out at your earliest convenience especially if your listening loves frequent the kind of darkly distressed future worlds and cold war paranoiac electronics that once upon a time was so ably and austerely delivered upon turntables by the likes of Add N to X and Mount Vernon Arts Lab, well at least that how mood and atmospheres appear to grip and ghost the grooves of the forbidding and bleak ‘dystopies versus – part 1’. Proving edgier still not to say a little less playful, ‘part 2’ as you’d probably hazard a guess is an altogether differing beast brutalised amid a terror-phonic skree storm of crackling transmissions, frequency warping sound manipulation, distorted loop collages and scalding sonic shocks. http://fusiller.bandcamp.com/album/dystopies-versus
how could we resist a label going by the name of dome of doom, I mean moth to light bulb so on and so forth. Anyway these dudes have a few planned cassette store sorties in the pipeline which include outings for the blank tapes and the death medicine band – the latter of whom on name alone must be deserving of anyone’s time and consideration. Alas no sound links for those releases just yet or details as it happens, however we did hook up to this little nugget. Released earlier in the year and from their third album this is space gang and ‘burner’ who it seems do the kind of mellowing lounge tropicalia meets mutant seafaring psychedelia that admirers of those monsterism island compilations would literally swoon for, this un’ comes wonderfully warped as though some rare slice of 70’s seductive soul pop had been mistakenly left out in the sun and melted, freakishly trippy and something that ought by rights should be sitting somewhere between your prized emperor penguin and frank and wobbly sons outings.
For those among you who might have suffered some kind of musical taste crisis and forgotten what the hell poster children sounded like here’s ‘eye’……
This folks is the dogs danders, just oozes cool, prime cut uber chic prowler purring psych from Sister Crowley who we believe have a limited tape currently being readied up for cassette store day love aplenty. ‘stalker’ is like – wow, a time tripping slab of bad boogie that scowls and struts with the vintage shimmer of the Seeds sparring with Wimple Winch, add to the mix the feint essence of the oh sees and smidgeon of the werewolves and voila tape deck terrorising guaranteed. http://www.astrolizardrecords.com/new-album
Latest addition to the esteemed too pure singles club is a dandy twinset from allusondrugs, ridiculously limited and sure to fly off the racks before you can utter the immortal WTF was that, anyhow ‘magic college’ leads the charge, a chime happy buzz pop bitten cutie that had us recalling the type of feel good hazily shoegazey grooves that once upon a time headed out with gusto from the wilde club imprint albeit here as though sneakily hoodwinked by those imps neds atomic dustbin. Edging matters in terms of affection, over on the flip lurks the readily more 60’s shimmer toned ‘her crown’ a sun beckoning a hip wiggling, ear candy dimpled spoonful of pants swinging lysergic kissed psychedelic hot pot. https://soundcloud.com/wallofsoundpr/sets/allusondrugs-magic-college-her
Listening interlude…….the ceyleib people
What were they smoking in ‘68? – fancy some wasted and trippy lock grooving head sounds featuring stoned out sitars then get your lobes around this, features a youthful Ry Cooder……
Again another release from deep distance / great pop supplement that sneaked out under our radar while we went awol, we’ve momentarily lost all the gubbins about this, but it’s by Cosmic Ground – who / which is the sonic pseudonym of one Dirk Jan Muller – and this comes taken from his latest opus ‘cosmic ground 2’- a full on senses immersing astral trip rippled in motorik pulsars and mind expanding murmurs which across its hulking 15 minute visitation manages to terra form, dissipate and dissolve to craft a woozy and head tripping meditative tapestry that blurs the lines between the kosmiche sounds of tangerine dream – here found in cahoots with an impressionable Jean Michel Jarre and the trance toning grooves of a youthful ‘last train….’ era KLF / Orb and System 7 – that said those with a passing wonder for hearing Zombi retooling blade runner landscapes may likewise find themselves sonically satiated whilst admirers of Craig Padilla will adore.
Adored in sheens of sun spot radiance all blissfully caressed in a lovelorn bitter sweet braiding, lead out track ‘the wasted days’ comes peeled from a forthcoming Club AC30 EP by Air Formation entitled ‘were we ever here’ – arrives gorgeously teased and torn in the kind of pulse rushing fuzz hazed haloes that once upon a tome graced the grooves of early Moose releases whilst simultaneously freefalling into the kind of dream draped shimmer swoon that courted prized outings by the much missed Skywave.
To coincide and indeed celebrate their forthcoming appearance at the Liverpool Psych festivities, Rocket records are busy pressing up a 300 only 12 inch upon whose grooves the mutant monolithic murmurs of the Mamuthones are set to mind weave. The set headed up by ‘symphony for the devil’ is graced by a specially commissioned remix of said cut by howling owl dudes giant swan, a hulking slab of senses altering drone dub delirium that’s liable to fry your head and sounds to these ears to be on a trajectory more akin to imagining a seriously spaced out Suicide or stoned out revolutionary corps of teenage Jesus – freaky.
dishevelled, discordant and to die for, had us in an instant this little nugget did, a feral blighter from Canadian noise niking trio the Dirty Nil via dine alone records entitled ‘no weaknesses’ – raw, raucous and a tad ripped which in truth put us a lot in mind of some sparring super group formed from members of a seriously skewed youthful sounding lo-fi-ing Stiff Little Fingers facing down the pleasureheads whilst headed up by a clearly impish and skedaddled J Mascis. https://soundcloud.com/dine-alone-records/the-dirty-nil-no-weaknesses
a bit of a summer night skies falling smoker this one, new via the adored captured tracks stable, this is craft spells with a forthcoming single by the name ‘our park by night’ – a beautifully lost in the moment sweetheart dizzily draped in star tripped orbitals, lilting seafaring shimmies and tripping tropicalia twinkles whose honeyed harmonies and chill tipped haloes had us fondly imagining a cosy cocktail primed from an early career pickled egg records back catalogue gathering together turntable treats aplenty courtesy of Gulliver, le bleu and the go team all headed up by a thoughtful j xaverre. https://soundcloud.com/capturedtracks/craft-spells-our-park-by-night/
another act set to grace this year’s Liverpool psych festival are Death and Vanilla, this is a newly cobbled together video for ‘follow the light’ from their celebrated ‘to where the wild things are’ full length, a starry orbiting carnival dimpled in ghost light flotillas all dreamily demurred as though a celestial wonderland made up of rarefied bewitched pressings of lost Broadcast tapes.
Weird ear candy pop from (returning to these pages – you may well recall us falling backsides over elbows for thee acutely cute ‘big e’ earlier this year) Cardiff based punk pups totem terrors – words about that there’s an album that too much gnashing teeth we’ve yet to hear – a set from which we believe this strange mutant buzz pop sortie is ripped – entitled ‘harder science’ you might well need a set square to navigate its sharpening obtuse needle niking chord play, prime turntable fodder for those of you who at one time tuned your ears to the grooves of the marquis cha cha imprint, two minutes of early Fall-esque loveliness spiked with elements of the kind of austere art pop that once scratched and gnawed at the grooving of classic era Devo and B-52’s platters with a distinct flavouring of Bis, prime Peel fodder in should hasten to add. https://soundcloud.com/totemterrors
Cosmic Analog Esemble
‘Petits Pays’ (coelacanth records)
Must admit that we here are suckers for the sound of a well heeled vibraphone, farfisa and harpsichord (our ears even picked up a theremin alert ‘Les Tours Eiffel Sous la Tour Eiffel’), they create a sense of outer worldly mystery and magic that has you conjuring all manner of images of anything from romanticised picturesque landscapes of faraway retreats to sci-fi strangeness, spy noir and more besides. No strangers to these ears, we stumbled across Cosmic Analog Ensembles’ alluringly kitschy and kooky ‘murs libres’ via the Active Listener sampler #24 and immediately adored its vintage tonalities likening it to a would be musical hive mind born of Basil Kirchin and Raymond Scott personas. ‘petits pays’ their latest opus is a mood murmured mirage that one suspects has been time tripped from an age of arty flock wallpaper adorned habitats envisaged by Pininfarina and Vadim where the optimism of the space race (still in its golden age) contrasts and dulls with the spectre and realism of the prevailing cold war. Both expressive and entrancing ‘petits pays’ sits on the sonic outer rings of a mid 90’s musical scene by way of a collective primarily populated and headed up by Stereolab, Broadcast, Plone, Pram and Scott Bond (the latter being much recalled on ‘Main sur Hanches, Doigts sur Manche’)– like minded souls who enthused and delighted in the retro futurism of shimmering 60’s accents and lush library lilts. It would be easy to lazily file ‘petits pays’ under the lounge umbrella but in truth there’s much here that ought to appeal to those much admiring of such imprints as Finders Keepers, Trunk and Italy’s missing in action Shado for amid this beautified 15 track bouquet romance arcs gracefully shimmered in forlorn Autumnal reflection, floral posies ( and silken spy noir sophistication for here you’ll be smitten by the deceptive down tempo kitsch funk of ‘the concept and the purpose’ with its cutely cool tropicalia flavouring recalling a would be tryst between Lemon Jelly and the Winston Giles Orchestra while there’s a faintly detectable noir chic attaching to the Third Man-esque ‘vaise a l’aenvers’ to be savoured. Elsewhere the quite delectable ‘sombre affair’ freefalls seductively into an autumnal thoughtfulness much reminiscent of the much missed L’Augmentation while the bitter sweetly reflective ‘national blues’ is graced by a slyly off set yearn and tenderness that has you imagining it being some lost and forgotten score sketching hatched during down time by an afterhours studio gathering of Barry and Grainer types. All said we here are quite adoring of the brief visitation made by ‘as much as a sonnet’ – a trippy slice of lunar loveliness twinkled by the galactic fanfare of opining cosmic carousels. https://coelacanthrecords.bandcamp.com/album/petits-pays
Dip in the ocean – an introduction to pulco
Once upon a time, well 1998 to be more precise, a track by the name ‘radar intruder’ ushered from the house radio one night and in our lives and long held affection. By Derrero it made the lower end of that years Peel festive 50. Three and a half minutes of blissfully perfect pop possessed of an unerring knack for shimmying beneath your well guarded defences and with it – around our gaff at least – always considered a bit of memorable gem.
Now any right minded person at this point might just be scratching their head thinking where is he going with this and thanks for the trip down memory lane. Well much to our embarrassment Pulco was in said band Derrero and has been for the last decade or more been hatching little nuggets and releasing them beneath our usually astute and watchful radar on the folkwit imprint. ‘dip in the ocean’ is as the full title hints a kind of bringing you up to speed compilation gathering together various previously released EP’s all of which to stunned and humbled horror we’ve managed to miss.
‘dip in the ocean’ reveals a creative artistry ever watchful, wandering and withdrawn from the maddening crowd that is pop, many who’ve stumbled across, for example, Lux Harmonium via the esteemed Static Caravan will be alerted to the trace elemental similarities in so far as the crystalline toning, none more so is this the case than on the soft undulating lilt of the carefree and dreamy ‘tudor grains’ which arrives possessed of a demurely dinked lineage that draws close to Magnet’s ‘Wicker Man’ pastoral lilts. The same airily rustic devices are utilised on the shyly bitter sweet soft psych shimmering of ‘place lid on me’ which A B Leonard enthusiasts may do well to investigate not to mention those whose hearts skip a beat at the mere appearance of a youthful Kevin Tihista looming on their turntable player. Then there’s the homely sighing porch lit creak of the blissfully cast adrift and drifting ‘wearing down the well’ which had us in mind of an optimistically thoughtful June Panic sparring with the panda gang nee bdi’s nee the Lancashire hustlers, while those fancying of something totally off the wall and done with an impish grin might warm to the crookedly playful ‘Whoops’ which features, or so it appears, some junior members of the Pulco family not to mention some Radiophonic meets Raymond Scott wackiness . Best moment of the set for us though is the opening salvo ‘song 37’ – a lolloping gem rippled in hiccupping lock grooved motifs all kissed with a smoky sea sawing sleepy headed 70’s vintage – quite fetching if you ask me.
Available digitally via http://pulco.bandcamp.com/album/dip-inthe-ocean-an-introduction-to-pulco
Been a fair old while since Dead Leaf Echo arrested our turntable, new single ‘lemonheart’ is so ultra limited that physical copies pressed up on clear wax have flown the coup on pre sales alone which as you can imagine has had us all a sighing and a tad disconsolate. A pretty little twin set with the side flipping lunar lullaby like Cocteau-ian murmur frosted in a moment amid some ethereal vortex that is ‘sunlessoul’ stealing our affection. That said lead out opus the love noted ‘lemonheart’ is no shrinking violet arriving ablaze in vapour trailing wisps of crystalline chime charmed shimmering 60’s motifs. Utterly fanciable fringe flopping swoon pop. https://deadleafecho.bandcamp.com/
Something else that’ll be getting mentioned in more detail in the coming days aside a killer set by the Beautify Junkyards is a charity compilation collated by those Mega Dodo dudes. In aid of Save the Children so dig deep, the collection entitled ‘tiddlywinks’ features nursery rhymes rethreaded by some familiar names – icarus Peel, us and them, octopus syng et al – however to whet your appetite so to speak a slice of strangeness from Michael Warren and the Hare and the Moon by the name ‘the land of nod’. Chill toned disturbia that to these ears sounds as though it’s emerged from the shadowy recesses of a surreal Carroll inspired Mr Barrett psyche, a darkly trimmed gem tethered upon haunting motifs and a sense of a resigned terror that stirs, lurks and prowls with dread intent draped in ghost light haloes of which it goes without saying that long standing admirers of Paul Roland will dig with deathly relish. https://megadodo.bandcamp.com/album/tiddlywinks
we stumbled across this on one of our little sojourns around the inter web, forthcoming on clay pipe from Vic Mars a limited to only 300 set entitled the land and the garden’ from which ‘villages, hamlets and fetes’ has been sneaked out on what one suspects is a kind of scouting mission to entrance, allure and blissfully blow away would be listening patrons. A wonderfully lazy eyed slice of lost in time magicalia spirited daintily upon the delightful radiant dimpling of idyllic village green pastoral posies which to these well worn ears had us imagining the Winston Giles Orchestra marooned in some Edwin Astley / Vernon Elliott score Oliver Postgate picture book. https://soundcloud.com/clay-pipe-music/vic-mars-villages-hamlets-and-fetes
Some strange and truly wonderful happenings emerging from the was ist das? family collective for it seems in recent times they’ve branched out into forming their own little record issuing well heeled vinyl and tapes for clued up patrons to adore, in fact buoyed by the critical response they’ve been bold enough to hatch an archival imprint (mondo hebden) its first release featuring a rare vault lurking curio from one of the founding visionaries responsible for the setting up of the Radiophonic Workshop. Alas all sold out on its initial 150 run, there was even an ultra limited 50 copy repress, ‘pop tryouts’ is a rare peak at the creative process, structure, tonality and compositional development of Radiophonic’s first lady Daphne Oran. The release, appearing to come by way a fortuitous accident, features the contents of tape 037, part of a previously unheard archive of material held at Goldsmith’s University and heard during the course of research for a forthcoming book entitled ‘an electric storm’ due for publication shortly through obverse books. A peculiar pic n’ mix featuring an extensive library of short cues and alternative mixes / refrains and idents based on one unifying motif that reveal an inquisitively playful sound alchemist at work. Amid these two extended collages thought to have been recorded sometimes c. 72 /73, as the title might well hint and allude to, there’s a revealing of a readily more accessible and pop minded persona at play as these gloopy mosaics are set upon and rephrased upon a myriad of sonic backdrops that range from moments of motorik technoid tinkering, whistling, impish skittishness, lonesome lunar opines and strangely surreal toy room at play at night lullabies. A set that’s well worth investigating though admittedly at its close your so conditioned to the base line coda that should you not go ga-ga then you’ll at least find yourself at unguarded moments chirpily whistling it to yourself to the point of distraction. http://wasistdas.bandcamp.com/album/pop-tryouts
Midwich Youth Club
This set has, I don’t mind telling you, been burning holes and cutting strange lysergic dissolves in our headspace since arriving in our in box. To describe ‘Dawdling’ as being the work of a fractured genius would I fear be a gross understatement, aside the fact its delightfully all over the shop it reveals of its author Midwich Youth Club – or as he’s better known to kith and kin Allan Murphy, a wickedly restless and unique easy category boxing in refusenik.
From his secret sonic bunker he has hatched one of the most inventive and wig flipped sets of the year for ‘Dawdling’ is a crafty blighter, skittering in the shadowy voids it cleverly joins dots you never knew existed between progressive, ambient, kraut, kosmiche and radiophonic pop, each repeat listen betrays a little more of its secrets, take ‘a mind made of glittery baubles’ as a brief example wherein the cosmicalic wooziness of Stereolab’s ‘cobra and phases group play voltage in the milky night’ is seductively piloted into the murmur toned floaty fuzziness of chill toned oceanic ambience by way of 808 State though not before docking into the realms of the Knife along the way. As far as we are concerned it’s always a good sign to find an album sneakily trying to slip beneath your defences some well heeled references to Dutch prog uberlords Supersister to which ‘the anti-stroller brigade’ clearly does albeit here finding itself fried by Cardiacs visitations and the occasional guest appearance of White Noise. It soon becomes quite apparent that Mr Murphy is something of a Cardiacs admirer for their trademark goofed out and sharply angular needlework revisits the turntable on the clearly insanely skedaddled ‘your mouth’ and the excellently titled ‘cyder pirates and the bench of solitude’ – the latter mentioned even having the nerve to tweak the crookedly with some neat ‘defecting grey’ styled Pretty Things wonkiness.
Just while you’re busily satisfying yourself that your beginning to get the measure of matters up pops the pulsar purred ‘Stop and Search’ – a kind of three way futuristic space cruising game play face off between Front 242, Giorgio Moroder and Zombi while the squelching 70’s vintage of ‘let’s go home’ is a glorious time tripping journey imagining a spangles sucking Kraftwerk on humour setting letting their guard drop a tad whilst playfully rephrasing ‘Grange Hill’ styled children’s TV tunes.
Talk about kitchen sinks and the like, of course ‘Dawdling’s’ centre stage is rightly taken by the parting epic ‘Kevin Turvey, the man behind the green door’ – a humungous curtain closer that aside taking you on a mind expanding adventure manages to mutate and shed its skin first off appearing like a hulking Floydian star cruiser before crystallising to assume Add N to X, Tangerine Dream and Ozric Tentacles personas all the time embarking upon a dream dripped astral trajectory the likes of which has rarely been heard done better since that legendary jaw dropped extended side of Jean Michel Jarre’s head mushrooming ‘magnetic fields’ came into earshot to decamp for a tripping 15 minute spell.
The things you trip up across rummaging around the internet, an added bonus when firstly you find it’s a free download and more importantly secondly, that it’s as good as this. ‘modulation freaks’ finds Jo Bartlett revisiting as where her Yellow Moon Band past. A four track instrumental EP that comes bristled in ambition and intent whilst flavoured with a switched on, tuned out and turned up revealing of a mercurial talent unrestricted by the weight of expectation and cut loose left to freewheel Without doubt assuring itself of the wow kudos, opener ‘Archangel’ is dipped dead eyed into the heart of the progressive firmament, a big bearded beauty snarling and strutting not to mention proudly wearing its 70’s classic blues rock vintage on its sleeve, gloriously gruff it picks away at an obvious adoring of Mountain while simultaneously etching and eking out a shared melodic mindset with the mighty Bevis Frond. Admittedly we here just love that sense of the wide open propulsion of the pure pop orientated ‘Circle: Line’ as it scuttles at high speed through the rural rail track arteries all the time clipped and peppered in moments of effervescent radiance with the sky siren riff flashes seductively bedded upon woozy flotillas of spacey post rockist purrs. ‘littoral’ switches mood to more blissfully lazy eyed climes, a sun drenched seafarer trimmed in lulling chill tipped posies much reminiscent of a certain J Xaverre while parting shot ‘laudanum’ is all said cut from something that we here found ourselves quite taken by, perhaps for its smoking cool locked grooved wistfulness or for the way it crafts delightfully dizzy lysergic laced hypno swirls in your headspace – who knows – one thing is for certain if we didn’t know better we’d have thought it the work of a three way Enraptured records all star gathering of Slipstream, Junkboy and Beatglider types.
due to impact shortly via the ever adored Static Caravan imprint, debut long playing platter ‘everything forever’ from Victories at Sea looks set to steal appreciative critical nods. From it ‘Sirens’ has been sent ahead on scouting duties, a stately slice of divinely poised glacial majesty trimmed and teased in hushed motorik murmurs all softly sprayed and kissed by a yearning elegance ghosted beneath a lights lowered seductive purr that had us here imagining a star crossed meeting of Sennen and Working for a Nuclear Free City minds.
Small Bear records.
Surrounded by some mighty fine releases at the moment this here debut from Vukovar proving lately to be a frequent visitor to those rare invite only turntable soirees that masquerade as the Sunday Experience sound nights. Vukovar are no strangers to these pages appearing on our radar over a year ago sporting the name Nero’s Felines, twelve months later and re-christened, they come packing under their collective arms one of the finest debuts in recent memory with core members Dan( of the Bordellos) and Rick (of Longdrone Flowers) making this something of a Small Bear label family affair (postcode personnel populate the ranks) and swelling the collective to nine.
As said appearing in earshot little over a year ago, ‘nero’s felines’ and its accompanying flip ‘lose my breath’ both feature here, the former shimmered in a ‘seamonsters’ era Wedding Present broodiness embarking on a mellowing country stroll with the much missed Soft Parade, while the latter was a razor sharp brain blurring slab of tripped out psychosis that took its initial cue from a ‘doolittle’ era Pixies before freefalling into the corrupting hazy wilderness of the Walking Seeds’ lost classic ‘bad orb…..’. Also featured, in truth one of the early calls for single of the year, ‘the new world order’ is your jaw dropping dead gorgeous indie classic in waiting, as said in previous despatches, the finest 5 minutes of perfect pure pop not written by the Bunnymen that imagines some Ian Curtis headed dream ticket mindset merging of old school Joy Division with classic isolationist ‘power, corruption and lies’ era New Order replete with anthemic key swathes and trademark low strung bass grooving – if this doesn’t bother the top tier of Dandelion radio’s end of year festive 50 – questions will be asked.
Isolationist is perhaps the best way to describe ‘Emperor’, clearly it has its foot in a post punk / cold wave age, similarities to Left Hand’s ‘minus 8’ debut some 15 years ago are appreciably noted though that said while there’s a distinct retro vintage at work, Vukovar have sublimely dropped something that stands aside the wagon chasing latest fashion sound accessorising and plotted a path of their own crafting, a classically toned indie party pack whose reference markers skirt around aural pathways peppered by the likes of Decoration (especially on the bleakly stunning and hollowing hymnal ‘silent, almost sleeping’), Hillfields and Stephen Jones (in his Trucker guise as opposed to his more recognisable Babybird persona) the latter of whom is much recalled on the cosmically cooled ‘regular patrons of the kitty salon’. Somewhere else lurks the smoking and mellowing ghostly campfire cosy posy ‘part 1 – mrs karoda’s lament’ – a teasingly brief harmonically hushed sweetie that contrasts abruptly with the ripped and raw strut scowl of the garage gouged ‘concrete’. Those fancying their sounds somewhat couched in a lazy eyed twang shimmers that veer into the hallowed territories of the Devastations ought to tune into the acutely sparse bruiser ‘r’duced’ while the effervescently radiant ‘koen, cohen k’ comes kissed in the kind of astutely swaggering pop savvy that you suspect many a band would swiftly reconvene and after a hasty band meeting decide to retire considering job done
All said for us it’s the parting ‘the staircase’ that steals the set, a haunting slab of post punk psychotropia crookedly trimmed by a twin tracking spoken monologue atop a maddening sinisterly fried paranoiac iciness that chills with the creative edginess of an overlooked flip side or Peel session cut by Bauhaus re-mastered as were by Rooney. ‘Emperor’ comes as an eye catching limited edition hand-made CD a copy of which we’ll have to nail for posterity and total turntable love. http://vukovarsmallbear.bandcamp.com/album/emperor
I’ll be perfectly honest you with in saying I can’t remember stumbling across too many covers of Prolapse songs along our travels. Championed by the ‘man’ of radio and ill fitting jumpers Mr Peel, Prolapse were your original sore thumbs whose appearances on the late night radio schedules where often a cue for merriment and an excuse for a jig around the bijou confines of our listening lair. Where are they now we wonder? Anyhow, typically going around the houses we mention all this because a new EP through Small Bea Records (remember them earlier – Vukovar album eh) has just dropped from label head honcho Phil Reynolds – here sparring with the Indigo Children on a set called ‘the end of affection’ from which Prolapse’s ‘I hate the counting man’ is summarily dissected, dismantled and reassembled anew as a ferocious and frenetic future vision of i-spy space age twang-tastic groove all equipped with a to die for panic inducing struts replete with key swirling 60’s strobe effects all cut with the kind of boogie-rama head frazzling impacting of a frenzied Man…or Astro Man. That said lead cut ‘brighter days’ is no shrinking violet, a bit of bruised beauty draped in cosmic after burns all ablaze and ripped with low slung grooving sky scorched power pop kaleidoscopics, which makes me wonder why oh why then do I keep whistling ‘seasons in the sun’ by Terry Jacks, not a complaint mind just asking….. http://philreynoldsandtheindigochildren.bandcamp.com/album/the-end-of-affection
There’s no doubt that pig outlet have a delirious knack for hatching out memorably crafted pop nuggets – on that score I think we can all agreed, it’s just what leaves their collective head space to manifest in the studio in finished form somehow has a strangely impish habit of assuming something of a wayward personality. Veering on the side of damaged and – okay shall we just be honest and say it as it is – loony – there done it’s out, these Malmo based imps appear to be well versed in the sonic folklore of a ‘doolittle’ era Pixies albeit here pickled by the surreal goofiness of they might be giants which when done is sent for what might be best described as a final quality control check by way of the Elephant 6 Collective. There’s a cassette knocking around through shallow of shit records who I must admit on name alone warrants the frantic issuing of emails to beg for inclusion on their mailing list – the tape no doubt stupidly limited (I’ll add here – we’d like one) is called ‘paradise in progress’ (the title track alone sounding not unlike a skewed, schizoid and psychedelicised TV Personalities in a face off with a particularly wig flipped pooh sticks) we suggest the parting of cash is on this occasion guaranteed to reap listening love rewards http://shallowshitrecords.bandcamp.com/album/paradise-in-progress-2
Static Caravan records look set to see out the year with a plethora of releases from the previously mentioned Victories at Sea and MTO along with further turntable tastiness from TVAM, the Duke St. Workshop and David O’Dowda the latter of whom mentioned comes sporting upon an ultra limited 100 only hand-made CD. The name mightn’t be too familiar for the less clued up brethren among you but Mr O’Dowda once headed up Table, an ensemble whose output occasionally graced the Static Catalogue to much acclaim. These days he can be found penning music to picture – cinema and TV and other such like, ‘the world retreats’ therefore is a rare outing that finds him freed of his creative solitude crafting something – er – well – ghosted in solitude. Frail, fragile and above all crystal cut in sublimely hushed elegance, ‘the world retreats’ is so tenderly reflective, almost an apparition, that you fear it might shyly disappear at the approach of anything accidentally disturbing its finitely balanced state, in truth one of the finest, most bruised and beguiled releases to have graced the Static Caravan roster since the days of Shady Bard whilst admirers of low anthem may just tearfully swoon at its murmured majesty
Incoming via Memphis Industries, new noise pop niceness from the adorable Menace Beach in the shape of the ‘super transporterreum’ EP – a healthy dose of rampantly radiant bubble grooved fuzz pop bliss out loveliness all kaleidoscopically swirled to sound not unlike some teen spirited head in the clouds Mascis collective tripping amid the psychedelicised woozy pastures of the weirdly wonky Elephant 6 Collective.
Fifth album ‘pure mood’ approaching from Texan dream poppers Ringo Deathstar, due to impact late November via purveyors of all things dripped in reverb and demurring fuzz Club AC30 ‘guilt’ has been sent ahead as a swoon draped herald. A Cocteauian beauty seductively kissed in hypnotically alluring dream cascades all rippled in sky parting fanfares of chiming swirls which by these ears hint of lilting love notes sugar crushed in Lush like haloes. https://soundcloud.com/club-ac30/ringo-deathstarr-guilt
We were only the other day getting a tad concerned at not hearing anything of late from Australia’s celebrated dream pop imprint Hidden Shoal when as though by magic (just between you and me I suspect some mind reading mischief is at play) we received a kindly email from Chloe March alerting us to a newly released EP entitled ‘under the day’ from which a video for the track ‘May’ has been released. One of those rare releases wherein you feel a quiet moment of your hectic day is required in order for you to sit with it, perhaps to comfort, allowing it to breath in the hope that it gives up its ghostly secrets and shyly blossoming beauty. Demurred in a frail Satie refrain, this fragile visitation is spun in a silvery poetic elegance that’s trimmed and traced in Autumnal rushes and the bathing of a pre dawning stillness blurred in a misty twilight glow atop of which Ms March’s lovelorn yearn aches crushingly from a hidden vantage point with tearful sympathy. Ice sculptured neo classicist dream folk at its most pristine and perfect and sheer heart breaking and humbling to boot.
These dudes sound like their having way too much shit faced fun, this slab of bad assed boogie is set to land the fall of October via bad omen. When we tell you that Satan’s Satyrs feature among their number members of Electric Wizard then you’ll know their pedigree is top notch, ripped from ‘Don’t deliver us’ their third full length, ‘full moon and empty vessels’ is a rollicking slice of bitched out garage glam trashed rock-a-hula decadently mainlining on lost and forgotten Sabbathian riff cast outs all lovingly wasted and out of it on a sonic feeding frenzy of New York Dolls, Heartbreakers and Dead Boys platters, frankly the dogs doo dahs. Any questions, thought not. https://soundcloud.com/bad-omen-records/satans-satyrs-full-moon-and-empty-veins/s-UkOXW
not that we want to encourage such self promotion and nudges in the ribs, but we received a ‘like my page’ request from Sand Snowman and well as you can gather by way of our want for going off at various tangents, it doesn’t take much to distract us from what we were doing, notably at this point listening, with a view to reviewing, the latest Bearsuit records release – soon my dears, soon. Anyhow it’s been way too long since the wares of Sand Snowman haunted our sound space – was it not those keenly sought Reverb Worship outings and the occasional Beta Lactam Ring release that last ushered upon us by way of these pages. Enough of that, new album ‘a doll’s eyes’ sneaked past our no doubt at the time in slumber radar via tonefloat, I can tell you gnashing teeth doesn’t begin to describe the sense of loss. From it this here lead track, a most enchanting and beguiling thing softly daubed by a crafted ear and hand adeptly versed in the ways of the past, the archaic and the forgotten and featuring the ghostly seduction of Amandine Ferrari on vocals. Perched upon the haunting recital of lost nursery rhymes, ‘a doll’s eye’ manages to eke and creak to nature’s changing moods, one minute summery and lightly playful, the next dead headed by winter’s deathly touch, the symphonic tension of the pastoral flurries twist and turn from breathlessly beautiful to supernaturally sinister, an epic feat of quietly poised and classicist fairytale imagery all at once tortured, tormented, turbulent and tenderly tragic.
Tomato sauce lasers, sausage lassos
If I quietly mention ‘got something new from Bearsuit Records’ then I’m sure regular readers will be in no need of introductory passages. However for the slackers among you either several pages behind the rest of us or else found stumbling across this web page thinking it was some sort of religious retreat and in abject fear and worryingly wondering what hell is this ungodly place you’ve managed to find yourself in, then perhaps step forth, read on and get yourself a musical education – it won’t guarantee a safe passage into the next life but it’ll least make your listening experience a lot weirder and all the more better than the manufactured follow the leader pap pop that day time radio rot their heads to. Edinburgh’s Bearsuit Records are your original weird ear kids, is it coming up to a decade now that they’ve been mischief making, warping the headspaces of the curious minority operating on a diet of Dadaist, keytronic, surreal, abstract, electrified loon pop – often procured from Japan or thereabouts, taking the baton of Scottish label cultdom from the likes of Creeping Bent and Benbecula they’ve coasted the far edges of outsider pop.
Sometimes demented, often deranged, indelibly impish and blatantly skewed, Bearsuit have over the years cultured for themselves a brand name in forward thinking non pop. Ah pop. I wondered when we’d get to that. The fact is Bearsuit do pop, it’s just that their idea of pop might not necessary conform to your tried, tested and frankly tired – verse – chorus – verse template, instead it’s an eclectic taste reserved for those who prefer seek out their sound loves rather than have them easily served at your advertisement hounded media outlets.‘tomato sauce lasers, sausage lassos’ as the title might well hint, is a satisfyingly strange selection gathering together 17 ensembles /artists unified with a common intent to fry your headspace and send you on your own journey along the yellow brick road to musical taste acquirement where moments of bliss kissed sounds sit uncomfortably aside the frankly fractured and goofed out, not always for the faint of heart agreed, but guaranteed packed to the rafters with ingenuity and precocious – even if that does mean skedaddled and skewiff – artistry.
Senji Niban opens the ‘tomato sauce lasers’ account with the clearly zonked out ‘boogiewoogie tokyo’ – a slice of skedaddled powerhouse dementia of pre electronic boffin Raymond Scott proportions from a time when he was still band leading and not near bankrupting himself building a humungous sound laboratory to house electronic devices so big they had their own zip code, this frazzled dandy sounding not unlike some lost ident for a seriously skittish slab of Cartoon Network surrealism. Up next Haq serve up ‘antics in a maze’ – an indelibly crafted slice of disorientating dream pop ghosted in ethereal whisper tones and very much teetered with the kind of off centred romantic dramatics that oft spirited the grooves of Takako Minekawa. Emerging from a strangely kaleidoscopic haze appear the pretty pop posy that is like this parade whose sweetly dimpled and 60’s sprinkled candy confection ‘nearby reality save our soul’ sits somewhere on a sun bathed fence between the new seekers and free design. I’m fairly certain we’ve mentioned Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shima Shimai’s ‘of / trying to teach someone to whistle’ in previous dispatches at some point, what first appears as a cold steel slice of isolationism a la elemental sumptuously abruptly turns on a coin and in the splitting of a second what was first monochrome is deliriously coloured in bitter sweet euphoric swathes – utterly adoring stuff. Proving to be no slouch in the affection stakes, Ryota Mikami’s ‘buddha jumps over the wall’ might well be in a parallel universe an insanely skewed and oddly deranged half cousin of the Go Team, a demented carnival of sonic waywardness whose lineage crookedly traces itself back to the outlandishly goofy pop off Tuesday. Bunny and the Invalid Singers do a neat line in shoe gazed though I expect it’s probably not the kind of shoe gaze you’re probably attuned to if you’re a patron of all things rocket girl / club ac30 – rather more ‘ask the man inside your head’ applies the vapour trailing effects pedals to maxima before pulling back on the brakes and marooning itself on some idyllic desert island outpost to rest awhile lazily spun amid the mellowing haze of Mancini / Grainer musical mosaics. Gluid’s aptly titled ‘weightless traveller’ is a suspended moment of tranquil pastoral lounge-tronica that’s temptingly phrased in the kind of richly warm and affectionately far away drifting away tonalities that at one time or another used to grace the grooves of releases by ellis island sound. I think I’m right in saying that Greguy have / has featured in these musings previously, accompanied by fond words which if I’m recalling rightly might well have centred around this very track. ‘minor injury’ is a chicly caressed slice of suave electro pop that smokes seduction and may well have a few older more attuned listeners recalling in an instant Le Bleu from a few years back. Once emerging from the dreamy haze Hayato Takeuchi’s ‘mock progukurere’ proves itself as a gorgeously lilting spectral folk cutie dissolved in ethereal flurries. Okay granted it’s a bit cuckoo in its apparent ignorance or perhaps avoidance of time signatures preferring instead to go off in tangents and follow its flights of fancy barely without a scarce warning, hint or indication. Now we here adore Whizz Kid, fried alchemists with a want for the bizarre, surreal / abstract and skedaddled and well, ‘clones’ we are happy to say does not disappoint in the peculiarity stakes, that said fairly normal and playing to the rules on this occasion and, unless our ears do deceive, sounding not unlike an inebriated marching band of toy soldiers on a Sunday parade. Those of you much appreciating and indeed missing the wired happenings that at one time used to fall out of the Tigerbeat6 imprint with worrying regularity might be minded to hook up to 0point1’s fried ‘infants gathering storm data’ who appear to be so fluid and brimming with ideas that they’ve cobbled the pesky blighters together and thrown them in a sonic washing machine and tuned the settings to a kaleidoscopic hot wash. Shinamo Moki on the other hand prefers something a little more ice sculptured and lullaby-esque in texture with the shy eyed ‘Zeal’ thawing seductively much like an orbiting starry eyed ISAN. Another who should prove no stranger around these here parts is Harold Nono here with ‘tahiik’ – a bit of a gem ghosted in shadowy noir trimmings and spy themed mosaics all presided over by brief moments of the kind of sinister edgy chill that recalls Budd and Barry. LTPimo on the other hand condense everything for a brief firefly visitation on ‘mimmoriotones’ which aside only hanging around for a minute we here are sure that beneath the hectic and chaotic channel changing glitch-a-rama at play the hints of something translating as pure pop perfection sits subdued and buried deep beneath the kooky melee. ‘of course we weren’t always superstars’ – Jikan Ga Nai’s offering to the table is a lulling ethereal buzz bomb suspended in flotillas of dreamy star kissed collages while Annie and the Station Orchestra’s ‘nearer my God’ is a most disorientating though strangely demurring affair blending and fusing light and dark tonalities whilst arrested in sepia traced operatics and oceanic dronal swathes. Ageing Children are left to wrap up matters with ‘slow motion stampede’, an ominous sleepy headed moocher which if I didn’t know any better sounds not unlike the Grails totally out of it on industrial strength tranqs marooned amid the cold minimalist landscapes of New Order’s ‘movement’. https://bearsuitrecords.bandcamp.com/
Voyaging into Kosmiche territories, Jon Brooks’ recent ‘walberswick’ set for the more than human imprint gets a limited 300 only second pressing following its speedy retreat from the record racks upon initial release. While we shuffle on forth trying to seek out a copy to call our own we’ll leave you with a brief little extract from the set. ‘pocket fire’ shimmers and hovers, a pulsing silvery orb glowing ever more intense its hypno grooved modulations drawing you in like some dream machine tractor beam intent on wiping your head space clean. https://soundcloud.com/morethanhumanrecords/pocket-fire-by-jon-brooks-from-walberswick-lp
Meanwhile over cafe kaput where all weird things and ghost box happenings gather to populate, there’s been a posting on their sound cloud page of a rare archival recording from Jan W Gruber dating back to 1978. Apparently sourced from a consumer reel, the icily ominous ‘arrival of wasps’ provides for a nifty slice of retro analogue electronics that’s sparse and minimalist and very much toned in a sonic vocabulary more associated with John Carpenter – perfect listening for those among you much enthused and admiring of concretism I should add. https://soundcloud.com/cafekaput
And talking of Concretism, there’s news of a limited vinyl pressing of ‘town planning’ due soon on – if I recall rightly – a norman records off shoot imprint – though I’m guessing we’re much mistaken and that right at this moment emails are approaching at the swiftness of a silver bullet telling us to edit. Anyhow while we feverishly tap our fingers waiting for such time a track by Concretism appears on the latest podcast cobbled together by Melmoth the Wanderer. Now can I just say here that we owe something of a small apology to the Melmoth one for he sent over a few works in progress a little while back which to put a not too fine a point on matters – disappeared in the great laptop has a huff debacle earlier this year not to mention coinciding with our absence from the cyber space in an equally fitful I’m not playing anymore hissy fit. Alas no track listing on this latest transmission (though it features sonic selections from Patrick Gowers, Unknown, Colin Towns, Komnakt-Katr and Concretism all weaved around a reading of Conan Doyle’s ‘the leather funnel’). A celebration as were of Autumn’s arrival entitled ‘in the garden where we sleep’ all typically crafted in the now trademark Melmoth creeping disturbia , where there was once life, light and play now the season of death stalks to covet the land with its shadowy chill as the old passes itself up for rebirth, here through ghostly apertures legends stir and secret beliefs and rituals are performed, pulls up a pew, wrap up and let the haunting commence….. https://www.mixcloud.com/Melmoth_The_Wanderer/in-the-garden-where-we-sleep/
And before we forget, Concretism (third mention on the trot and no we don’t get back hand payments – although we’ve an eye on that aforementioned vinyl set) has a new EP currently shadow playing in the digital sound space, ‘Magnox’ features five reclaimed relics from a distant analogue age, all evoking an era of cold war isolationism, public information broadcasts and open university idents. Among the treasures it’s ‘telex ghosts’ that appears to provide the sets alluring centrepiece, a forlornly remote beauty formed as though an ice crystal carnival orbiting distant lunar outposts relaying love note opines into the silent void stream. http://concretism.bandcamp.com/album/ep06-magnox
Incoming via the ever on the pulse of the nations underground taste, great pop supplement will shortly be paying host to the second baby platter from the Hanging Stars just ahead of the bands prepped big brother debut full length ‘over the silvery hill’ scheduled for action in early 2016. ‘’the house on the hill’ comes shimmered in all manner of 60’s twang-a-ramic west coast pop psychedelics. Amid whose grooves the lysergic visitations of Wray, Kidd and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental band gather to cast strut shimmying spectral shadow plays to a killer cool ghost rider-esque dragster dreamcoat all of which admirers of the Wicked Whispers will surely swoon in the aisles for.
Now we’ve heard / played this twice and for reasons best known, I guess, to just me, I’m getting the distant sound of Death Cab for Cutie alarm bells ringing loudly from the back of my consciousness. Fear not it happens occasionally and more often than not, they are usually right. However on this occasion I fear they may have strayed somewhat. This folks is ‘silence’ – a track from a forthcoming set from Danish collective the Migrant entitled ‘flood’. A curiously attractive sounding blighter that insidiously seems happy to merrily skip along or as the case may be here, amble around in a kind of resigned part blissed or should that be in a forlornly reflective way, planting little earworms here, there and everywhere by way of its desperately languid corkscrewing riff refrain. Braced upon a cooling post rock-ist after glow all daubed in an exotic south sea styled colouring whilst kissed in intricate harmonic haloes there’s very much an air of the tranquil trace of Beatglider moonlighting with Billy Mahonie sonic surveying old though impeccably essential Quickspace platters from many moons back, Archer Prewitt admirers need not feel left wanting either. Alas the accompanying video is thus far embargoed until its Wednesday premiere…..for now though here’s the sound cloud link…. https://soundcloud.com/the-migrant/silence2
Here’s a little something I’m sure the late Lux Interior would have approved of, hell the singer even has that frantic Lux quiver nailed flat to the floor, this tasty slab of basement bare minimalist garage gouged grooviness comes culled from a forthcoming debut long player platter from New York combo Imaginary People entitled ‘dead letterbox’. This bad boy is ‘she is’ a howling mamma freaked in horrorphonic tension all fried in an unhinged b-movie psychosis that sounds to these ears as though its been grave robbed for one of those crucial vault find 60’s compilations and certainly something that ought to be on the watch list of those much admiring of the groove grinding daddios put out at one time by the esteemed Estrus label. https://soundcloud.com/imaginarypeoplenyc/08-she-is
Emerging soon on the ever crucial Bureau B imprint, ESB are set to turn your listening space back in time c. 70’s for a spot of aural analogue arcadia by way of a self titled set oozing and crafted in an array of vintage keyboard artistry, a Technicolor pre techno travel guide if you like venturing sonic cosmic realms populated by moogs, korgs and arps which judging by the pre tease snippets here promises to be a kosmiche kolossus of the top table order upon which invitation cards for Jarre, Moroder, Carpenter, Tangerine, La Dusseldorf, Harmonia et al proudly sit. https://soundcloud.com/bureau-1/sets/esb
More teaser snippets from Bureau B I’m afraid though this time from a duo responsible for one of our favourite albums this year so far. Die Wilde Jagd are collaborative tour de force born of the pairing of Unit 4 and Noblesse Oblige personnel. Due out as a download at the end of October the ‘morgenrot’ EP appears to be an invitation only remix set featuring rewires of selected gems from their acclaimed (at least around here) released earlier this year. Tucked behind the original edit of ‘morgenrot’ your treated to Ivan Smagghe’s clearly insane and kookified Atari ping ponging ‘crossed version’ of ‘Wah Wah Wallenstein’ while opting for the same chosen cut to carve up Etienne Jaumet takes matters into territories more commonly ventured upon by Embryo while bringing up the rear Stallions re-phrase ‘jagd auf den hirsch’ into a mind mutating psychotronic Tropicana the type of which may have Tank admirers among you going gaga for more. https://soundcloud.com/bureau-1/sets/die-wilde-jagd-morgenrot-ep
Again another little short sortie with which to wet the appetite, just thirty seven of these in circulation, packaging looks quite superb, a tape release no less from the AOsmosis imprint featuring a 5 part suite from Australian sound alchemist Lewis Gorham, who it seems prefers to trade as light sleeper. The set entitled ‘ivanhoe relics’ was crafted by way of manipulating various field recordings, found sound and instruments with synth drones and piano loops, the result a quite becoming and intimately hushed slice of neo classicism as exemplified by the teaser snippet ‘excursions’ whereupon whose spectral beauty, poise and steeled elegance finds it veering close into the outer orbital rings of Antonymes and with that we’ve a strong suspicion it won’t be the last you’ll hear of him or the label. https://soundcloud.com/aosmosis/light-sleeper-excursions